Technique of the Week (May 6th, 2007)
Following last weeks excellent technique of the week by Sensei Sal I would like to add the following.
Additional notes on shuto-uke:
Do not let the elbow of the blocking arm lead when the block is thrown. If the elbow leads, the hand and foreman will come forward parallel to the deck. If this happens the attack can not be blocked. When the block is thrown be sure to have the hand lead. In this way the forearm will be vertical throughout and will present a more effective blocking surface. The only way to perfect this is to practice it in slow motion to get hand moving first. Once the discipline and the feel of the hand moving first is developed then increase the speed a little at a time until full power is attained. But the hand and foreman must lead not the elbow.
Chudan and Gedan
When fully chambered the hands and arms should not be touching the body. Keep them a few inches away. Closed fisted chest block is chambered with the arms touching the body to protect the body from one powerful attack. Shuto is delivered in a more free flowing motion. Think of chambering shuto with the arms free to whip out to protect against not just one powerful attack, but a combination of two or three quick punches.
Remember to keep the arms in motion throughout. Do not stop at the chambered position. When first learning the shuto you may, at times, stop at the chamber position when practicing to check for a proper chamber. But, except for this exercise, keep the arms in constant motion, especially when performing kata.